Austin- The Texas Senate unanimously passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, SB 1664, to allow families the opportunity to set up tax-exempt 529A savings accounts for disability-related expenses. The measure was sponsored by Senator Charles Perry of Lubbock.
Enacted late last year, the federal ABLE Act amended federal law to disregard ABLE account funds for means-tested federal programs such as SSI and Medicaid, which cap (usually at $2,000) the amount an individual with a disability may save.
“This is a giant step forward passage of ABLE in Texas, and it is especially thrilling during Autism Awareness Month,” said Stuart Spielman, Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel at Autism Speaks. “We are hopeful that The Texas House will pass SB 1664 in short order.
ABLE programs are managed on the state level and require state specific implementation. Enactment of the federal Stephen Beck, Jr., ABLE Act of 2014 last December has spurred legislative activity across the country.
Texas joins Arkansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia in the growing list of states to pass ABLE legislation. ABLE legislation is also currently awaiting signature in Kansas and legislation is pending in Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana (would amend existing law) Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington.